Category Archives: news

King’s Bounty: Legions MMORPG comes to Windows Phone

Game studio Nival KranX Productions’ cross platform RPG King’s Bounty: Legions has just arrived in the Windows Phone Store.

The game is a mobile version of King’s Bounty: The Legend, and features excellent 3D graphics, massive battles with players from around the world, and a huge map.

imageWith more than 700,000 players and hundreds of quests the game is sure to remain vibrant.

Find the free game in the Windows Phone Store here.


Microsoft pledges to let you remotely brick your phone by July 2015

WP7_BrickedWith Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung; Microsoft has signed a commitment with the CTIA to not just allow users to remotely wipe their phones if lost or stolen, but to also render them inoperable or “brick” them, thereby not just protecting the user data but removing the incentive for thieves to steal smartphones.

The move is a response to various initiatives by several municipalities in USA,  and has the backing of the five largest U.S. cellular carriers.

Even after being bricked, users will still be able to reactivate devices once recovered. A similar feature is already available in iOS and some Samsung Android handsets.  On iOS phones can only be reactivated by entering the correct iTunes password.

CTIA President Steve Largent hailed the move, saying:

“We appreciate the commitment made by these companies to protect wireless users in the event their smartphones are lost or stolen. This flexibility provides consumers with access to the best features and apps that fit their unique needs while protecting their smartphones and the valuable information they contain. At the same time, it’s important different technologies are available so that a ‘trap door’ isn’t created that could be exploited by hackers and criminals.”

Is being able to brick your phone a feature our readers would appreciate or are you concerned that some-one malicious may be able to remotely deactivate your phone? Let us know below.


WP 8.1 Xbox Games app updated


One of the advantages of removing apps from the OS and making them independent is that they can be easily updated.

One of the first such updates has been to the Games app for Windows Phone 8.1, which has been updated to version 2.0.1404.11000.

No changelog was provided, but presumably we can expect the usual bug fixes and much needed performance improvements.

imageWe understand such an update is also being delivered soon for the Xbox Music app on Windows Phone, where it is even more needed.

Find the Games app in the Windows Phone Store here.


WP 8.1 has fixed the biggest problem with NFC on Windows Phone

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NFC is a great technology but has been crippled on Windows Phone by the need to confirm each action, making the touch-less technology rather pointless.

Windows Phone 8.1 has finally fixed the implementation, with users able to specify an app as Trusted.

Unfortunately it can not be done ahead of time, and as far as I know does not work for NFC transfer between devices.

Apps are designated as trusted after you tap an NFC tag which activate the tag, but not on the first go, but only after the second tap.  This should prevent users from randomly trusted a tag they only access once.

Once an app is marked as trusted, it will show up in the NFC settings under Apps I Trust.  Users are able to tap and hold these apps and then remove them from the list later.

While this does fix the biggest issue with NFC on Windows Phone, the next issue is the lack of automation in the OS, preventing an app for example from putting your phone on vibrate and activating WIFI when you get home. For this we may have to wait for Windows Phone 10.

Cortana Answers About Microsoft Clippy Assistant, Steve Ballmer And More

There are lot of funny responses from Cortana digital assistant in Windows Phone 8.1. One of the highlight is its ability to answer questions about Clippy. When asked whether it knows Clippy, it says they are Facebook friends. When asked about Steve Ballmer, it shows ‘Developers, Developers…’, when asked about Bill Gates, it replied that it could not imagine a world without him. Find few of them from the gallery below.

Week in Review: April 7th

Welcome to the Week in Review, where we recap the top stories of the week.

WP 8.1 update for developers coming April 14th or 15th!

  • Joe Belfiore even confirmed that the developer preview will be available early in the week of April 14th
  • The update will be accessible through the Dev Preview program

8.1 still isn’t improving Office

  • Joe Belfiore announced that the new 8.1 update won’t bring any significant new features to Office on Windows Phone, which has remained stagnant for quite awhile.

Prepare for the 8.1 dev preview

  • To install the 8.1 developer preview before the painfully slow carrier rollouts, you first have to become a “developer”
  • You can become a developer through Microsoft’s App Studio for free
  • Then, install the Preview for Developers app and await the update!
  • Installing previews might void your warranty

Universal WP8.1/W8 apps already in the Windows Phone Store

universal apps

Microsoft has started delivering rapidly on the promise of Universal apps on Windows Phone 8.1, with a number of cross-platform apps already showing up.

The apps, which are labelled “Made for Windows Phones and Windows PCs”, allows users to pay once and install on both platforms.

This can already be seen in one app, Halo: Spartan Assault, which if you purchased it for the phone can be installed on your PC and vice versa.

Other apps with early support include Shazam, Hexic, Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Wordament.

The feature will increase the value of apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8 users, and make them more likely to pay for them, which should ultimately help developers make more money.


The Official Facebook App For WP8.1 is different branch of the app

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If you have installed the Windows Phone 8.1 update, don’t forget to also uninstall the Facebook beta and install the mainstream Facebook app.

When installing the app you will notice you are being offered a slightly different version,  a new 8.1 branch of the app, which offers integration with the People Hub, Calendar and Photos app.
The effect is most easily seen in the calendar, where Facebook Birthdays now show up.

The Facebook app for Windows Phone can be found in the Windows Phone Store here.

More information about WP8.1 GDR2 leaks


We have already heard about the two GDR updates expected for Windows Phone 8.1 in 2013, with GDR1 being mainly bug fixes, and GDR2 to be more feature rich and offer improved hardware support.

Now NokiaPowerUser has been shown more info from their sources about GDR2, and they report even greater support for powerful hardware.

According to NPU GDR2 may bring support for 2K resolution display and the Snapdragon 805 processor.

The Snapdragon 05 processor can run up to 2.7 Ghz, comes with the Adreno 420 GPU with up to 40% performance improvements and lower power consumption, and support for 4K screen resolution, better power management, Quick Charge 2.0, a new low-power DSP for even longer music playback, USB 3, WIFI 802.11ac3, support for 55 megapixel cameras and much more.

While a Windows Phone using such a chip will not offer all these features, it does enable OEMs to push the boundaries of the current state of the art for smartphones.


Read more about the processor here.

Xbox Music app in WP 8.1 a step backwards


While there is much to like about Windows Phone 8.1, some changes are not so endearing.

One of those is the Xbox Music app, which in many ways is a major step backwards from even the anaemic app in Windows Phone 8.

Sure, the app now adds the ability to edit playlists, but in terms of usability, the app is now slow loading, music collections also load very slowly, resulting in visible “loading” lists when looking at your music, on the Now Playing screen you can no longer see upcoming tracks, and you can no longer move to the next or previous track via swiping, and music controls have become a lot smaller, making the app more dangerous to use when driving.

Do our readers on WP8.1 share my unhappiness? Let us know below.

Virtual navigation buttons enabled on the Samsung Ativ S

There’s quite a lot of advantages to having a fully unlocked Windows Phone, such as the Samsung ATIV S.

One of those is being able to edit the registry, which is how managed to enable the Virtual Navigation Buttons on the Samsung ATIV S.

The key involved is:

  • Enter SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Shell \ NavigationBar
  • Enter SoftwareModeEnabled
  • Read, type a new value of 1 and save addition, you can change the values ??in
  • IsAutoHideEnabled
  • Color
  • IsSwipeUpToHideEnabled at your discretion.

If you are lucky enough to enjoy a Samsung ATIV S read full instructions at here.

The Windows/Windows Phone Store now open for Universal apps


With likely several million new Windows Phone 8.1 users roaming around looking for apps to take advantage of the new OS, the good news is that Microsoft has also opened up the Windows Phone Store to accepting Universal apps and other Windows Phone 8.1 apps.

In a blog post Microsoft announced:

1. Linking Windows Store and Windows Phone apps to create a universal Windows app to allow buy on one platform and use on all.

3. Credit card validation for developers no longer required

4. Consolidated price tiers with the new $0.99 and $1.29 tiers for Windows apps to match Windows Phone.

5. Consistent certification policies, matching Windows Phone with Windows 8 store policies.

For Windows Phone Specifically they also announced:

1. Windows Phone 8.1 package submissions, allowing developers to submit WP8.1 Universal Runtime and Silverlight 8.1 apps.

2. One app, multiple packages, Linking provides a ‘get once and download for all compatible Windows devices’ customer experience,meaning Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 users will automatically be presented with a legacy XAP while WP 8.1 users will get APPX.

3. Simplified package targeting

4. Redesigned Dev Center

5. Reduced certification times

Read more detail at Microsoft here.

Microsoft Research Demoes 3D Face Scanning using only a Windows Phone

3d face

Microsoft Research has demonstrated a technique to turn your smartphone into a high quality 3D scanner using a simple to use app and cloud processing.

The challenge was to make sure the users follow a prescribed pathway in moving their phones, and the team achieved this by visualizing a 3D sphere around the object (in this case a head) and providing visual feedback for the scanning user to follow.

Microsoft notes the technolgy can be used to generate 3D models to support scenarios like AR furniture & space arrangement, e-commerce visualization, object recognition & search, etc. and then use these models in 3D printing.

See the video demo after the break.

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